We have reached levels of activity never anticipated when the all-volunteer Bridge Fund (TBF) was organized 7 years ago. This is a good thing, and it reflects our ability to meet the increased numbers of requests for assistance and the strong financial support of our donor base.
The Facts: Every year since TBF's inception, the number of requests for assistance have increased substantially. This is due to two major factors - TBF now has more social service and school partners than at any other time in our history and those partners are referring more requests to us because the number of households in Lee Country that can't afford basic needs has grown over 10% since 2010.
Numbers speak louder than words. Requests for assistance approved by year:
- 2013 - 47
- 2017 - 220
- 2018 - 386 (on average more than 1 approval per day)
TBF's administrative costs remain at about 2%.
Since our inception in 2012:
-- TBF has approved over 1,000 awards totaling over $900,000 in disbursements.
-- 2,500 individuals have benefited from TBF's help and thousands of public school students have been impacted.
The Good News: At this time TBF is prepared to meet this level of requests for assistance because of the outpouring of Pelican Landing community support and other donor support we have received over the past few months.
"You all are just such rock stars and an everlasting reminder of why this world is still good. Sincere heart happy thanks.” A social service partner's statement after TBF made their cancer patient's mortgage payment.
TBF continues to help people in many categories of need: homelessness, housing, utilities, clothing, food, transportation, medical, dental, and educational needs. We are available 24/7/365, and in emergencies we can respond within hours.
"Please accept this letter of thanks for all you have done to help my family in a time of need. It's so humbling to receive help, but you made it less uncomfortable. I would've sent this sooner, but due to my son's poor immune system, he was in the hospital again over the weekend. I believe all good things will come your way for what you do for others!” Bridge Fund utility and mortgage assistance to a client.
Our primary focus is assisting people in need in the greater Bonita Springs/Estero area, but we are pleased that we also are able to help throughout Lee County because of partners whose reach extends beyond our home territory.
“I truly have no words to thank you so very much for considering my situation and helping. It's a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I am forever grateful! Thank you.” Rent payment made by TBF.
Please remember, TBF is the resource of last resort and does not duplicate or compete with any of our partner charities. We complement and supplement what they do.
Our donors are our lifeblood and you are the reason for TBF's success in reaching and assisting so many people in need. Please continue to support our efforts to help those who have exhausted all of their options.
Until our next View From The Bridge,
Mike Beebe, President Click here to donate! 98% of donations are
Cell: 239-682-3855 used for Neighbors in Need